While Iowa’s known for leading the world in corn production, hundreds of other farmers are growing all sorts of other produce that are in high demand. A three-day educational workshop opened this morning in Marshalltown that caters to those “alternate crop” growers, sponsored by the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. Naomi Maahs, the group’s president,says the first day will cover melon and pumpkin growing and marketing while day two will cover greenhouse growing, fruit and orchard growing, tomatoes and other vegetables. Maahs says she’s expecting hundreds of growers over the three-day workshop, some of whom only grow these alternative crops, others who are more typical Iowa producers. He says those who raise hogs and cattle have found niches in growing pumpkins and grapes too, along with other crops.Maahs says other niche crops that are growing in popularity include: sweet corn, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach and cabbage. She says the third day of the workshop will focus on grape-growing and wine-making, a pair of related industries that are seeing a tremendous growth in Iowa in recent years. She says there are 150 to 200 people who usually show up to hear about grapes and wine-making. Maahs grows strawberries and raspberries in Dallas County near Adel. The conference is underway at the Best Western Regency in Marshalltown through Saturday.
You are here: / / Workshop features alternative crops